March 9, 2018 - Volume 38 Issue 9


March 6th, 2018

CHARLESTON, W.Va.–West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Steven Paine issued a statement today regarding the remainder of the school year:

“It truly is a great day for education in West Virginia. I am pleased that our students, teachers and service personnel will return to school on Wednesday, March 7 following action taken by Governor Justice and the West Virginia legislature. I know our teachers and service personnel look forward to returning to complete another successful school year.

At the direction of Governor Justice, I will immediately begin working with our State Board of Education to explore all possible avenues for local districts to make up the instructional time that has been lost throughout the last nine days. My staff and I will work with each of our counties to identify every opportunity to maximize meaningful instruction while also minimizing disruption to students and families. We are committed to providing timely technical assistance to each individual county to innovatively restructure their calendars and to find additional flexibility within their local attendance policies to better accommodate the needs of families.

I anticipate each county will communicate promptly with parents and students concerning any changes to the current school calendar.”

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) announced that for the fourth year in a row West Virginia is leading the nation in school breakfast participation. The School Breakfast Scorecard ranks states and the District of Columbia on the basis of participation of low-income children in the School Breakfast Program. West Virginia exceeded FRAC’s goal for states of reaching 70 low-income children with school breakfast for every 100 who ate school lunch.

“The West Virginia Department of Education and the West Virginia Board of Education have partnered with legislators, community members and county administrators to ensure that every child receives the nutrition they need to succeed in school,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Steven Paine. “Research shows that school breakfast leads to improved diet, reduced food insecurity, better test scores, improved student health, and fewer distractions in the classroom, especially for our most vulnerable students.”

Nationally, on an average school day during the 2016–2017 school year, nearly 12.2 million low-income students participated in the national School Breakfast Program. While participation from year to year has continued to increase, the rate of growth has slowed, from an average of 390,000 additional students in each of the four preceding years to nearly 70,000 additional students in the 2016–2017 school year.

West Virginia has successfully increased breakfast participation through implementing alternative strategies to breakfast service, including in-classroom service and offering breakfast at no cost. In addition to West Virginia’s nation-leading breakfast participation, the report draws attention to the state’s guidelines established to protect students from the stigma of unpaid meal debt; guidelines which all school districts must follow.

“When the nutritional needs of students are met, we see a multitude of benefits – academically, mentally and in overall student health,” said Amanda Harrison, the West Virginia Department of Education’s Executive Director of the Office of Child Nutrition. “The West Virginia Department of Education is dedicated to ensuring no child is at a disadvantage due to food insecurity.”

To learn more about the Food Research Action Center, visit http://www.frac.org/. You can also read the in full here.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia day care providers seeking ways to serve nutritious, healthy meals may qualify for funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program administered by the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE). The program offers cash reimbursements for meals served to children and USDA donated foods.

Children enrolled at childcare centers or other facilities participating in the child and adult care food program receive free meals. The reimbursement rate to providers depends on the number of children eligible for free or reduced price school meals. Participants may be reimbursed for up to three meal types including breakfast, lunch, snacks or supper.

Eligible childcare centers are licensed or approved public or private non-profit facilities. For-profit child care centers also are eligible if they receive compensation under Title XX of the Social Security Act for at least 25 percent of the children enrolled, or if at least 25 percent of the children they serve are eligible for free or reduced price school meals.

Licensed or registered family day care home providers also may participate in the program under the auspices of an approved family day care sponsoring organization.

There are 9 approved sponsors throughout West Virginia. Additionally, homeless shelters providing services for families and after-school programs located in low-income areas can participate. Program sponsors provide meals at no extra charge to all enrolled participants or participating facilities.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information reques0ted in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) MAIL: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) FAX: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) EMAIL: program.intake@usda.gov.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) is seeking partnerships with organizations across the state to help feed children and provide supervised activities during the summer months. When school is out of session during the summer months, community programs and organizations are vital to ensuring children in West Virginia are still receiving the nutrition they need, especially in low-income areas.

County boards of education, local government agencies and other nonprofit organizations can participate in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which ensures children (ages 18 and under) in lower-income areas continue to receive free, nutritious meals during the summer when they do not have access to the programs that are available to them during the school year, like the School Breakfast Program or National School Lunch Program. Feeding sites often include schools, churches, community centers, pools, parks, libraries, housing complexes and summer camps.

“Supporting summer feeding sites in your community is one of the most important things you can do to ensure no child goes hungry this summer,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Paine. “Children require consistent, good-quality nutrition for development of their minds and bodies. We want to make certain every child returns to the classroom ready to learn.”

An average of 179,000 children in West Virginia, about 67 percent of school children, depend on free and reduced-price meals at school, yet only about 20,000 receive the free meals provided by the SFSP.

“In 2017, 507 Summer Food Program sites provided nutritious meals to children in West Virginia and we believe many organizations will renew their commitment for 2018,” said Amanda Harrison, Executive Director of the Office of Child Nutrition. “We encourage new organizations in communities all across the Mountain State to join us so the number of sites can grow and more children have access to healthy meals.”

Organizations interested in becoming a 2018 summer sponsor should contact Cybele Boehm or Samantha Reeves with the Office of Child Nutrition at cboehm@k12.wv.us  or snsuffer@k12.wv.usor by calling (304) 558-2709. Summer sites will be announced in May 2018.

Source: West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications. For additional information, contact Jessica Hall at 304-558-2699 or Jessica.Hall@k12.wv.us.

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